Poppy Park

i. My daughter and I were looking out over the patchwork landscape of the California high desert, green and gold and orange…all quickly turning brown in the hot early spring. “One thing just rolls into the next,” she said, observing the way the colors and textures shifted from one slope to the next, with no clear lines…

California Green

  i. Green is something special in California. Oh,sure, we have “green all year” because people can water their lawns and gardens to keep them vibrant, and there’s no white blanket of snow to cover them up. But in the wild hills that frame our developed landscape, green is a rare and fleeting thing, dependent…

Such a Winter’s Day

  Wildlife on the trail: One rabbit. Three squirrels. Maybe four. A hawk, overhead. Crows, ditto. A myriad of songbirds.   Joggers. Dogs, with their people. The maintenance team. A pack of young men who don’t seem like they’re up to any trouble, but are followed out by the park ranger. A pack of young…

Hard Climb

I. Part of California’s Transverse Ranges, the Tehachapi Mountains of Kern and Los Angeles counties cut an east-to-west divide between the fertile San Joaquin Valley to the north and the inhospitable Mojave Desert to the south. Cresting between 4,000 and 8,000 feet, they connect to the mighty Sierra Nevada to the east, and to the…

Cabrillo

“Exploration is really the essence of the human spirit.” – Frank Borman I. Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo was born in March 1499, a citizen of Portugal who made his way to Havana as a young man, and then joined Cortes in Mexico in 1519. Eventually, he made his fortune mining gold in Guatemala. In 1542, he…